Since early 2018, the forward power market in Texas has been in various states of backwardation (prices for a commodity get less expensive into the future). This backwardation made longer retail electricity agreements attractive as each additional year purchased was a chance to capitalize on lower futures prices and reduce the overall weighted average price. Last fall, the slope of that backwardation reached its maximum negative slope (see Figure 1). On November 1, 2019, the price for calendar year 2021 was trading at approximately $44/MWh, while 2028 was trading below $24/MWh. The $20/MWh discount from 2021 to 2028 produced a significant amount of backwardation and a downward sloping forward market for wholesale electricity.
4 min read
3 min read
Over the last few months, we have described Texas' increased reliance on wind generation to help meet peak demand requirements for electricity. Over the summer, the rolling black-outs in California were heavily covered in the news with many asking how a state known for its technological advancements with the most solar power has become vulnerable to insufficient power supplies.
1 min read
Join us for the energy market insights you need to know for your business. 5's Lead Energy Analyst, Eric Bratcher, provides a detailed look into each energy market during three regional webinars.
1 min read
Temperatures and humidity remain elevated all across Texas, which will increase electricity demand into the late afternoon. The peak demand forecast today is 70,397 MWs, which is expected to occur at 5:00 PM CST. This would set the all-time record peak for September and exceed the previous high of 69,187 MWs, which was set last year. With cold fronts in the long-term forecast (woohoo!), this may be one of the hottest days of the month.
3 min read
The last 30 days have shown how the stability of the power grid in Texas is influenced by the wind. In late July, Hurricane Hanna came onshore near Kenedy County as a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of around 90 mph. Its destructive force was felt as it moved across the Rio Grande Valley, causing local structural damage and outages from downed trees and powerlines. Specifically, there was significant damage to a two-mile stretch of 138,000-volt transmission line in Edinburg, just south of the 712-megawatt Magic Valley Generation Station.
3 min read
It’s late August, that means hurricane season is in full swing and our team is closely monitoring the weather in the Gulf of Mexico this week. Hurricane Marco dissipated Monday night as strong upper-level winds stymied its development. Hurricane Laura, however, is a different story. As of 2:00 pm CST on Wednesday, August 26th, Laura is bearing down on east Texas and Louisiana and is currently forecasted to come ashore Wednesday night/Thursday morning as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds over 140 mph. While it appears the Houston metro area will, for the most part, dodge this bullet, thunderstorms and 20+ mph winds will likely pass through the region over the next 24 hours. Right now, the greater threat is for residents in east Texas as the storm moves north along the Sabine River into heavily wooded areas. The current trajectory puts folks in the CenterPoint, TNMP, and Oncor service territories right in the path of this major storm, which has the potential to cause widespread, sustained power outages if trees and power lines are damaged. We’re writing to provide resources for those in the path of Hurricane Laura if there are power outages.
3 min read
One final ERCOT 4CP update for the week (and probably for the month as well).
Each day this week, a new Coincident Peak (CP) for the month of August was established! This speaks to the strength of this heat wave and how it’s increasing intensity throughout the week. Without a lot of rain, there has been nothing to moderate the heat over the last few days, and it’s not over yet.
The high temperature in DFW is 106° today, and the heat index in Houston (which also accounts for the humidity) will approach a lovely 110° this afternoon. Many energy managers and load forecasters alike are worn out but today is yet another high risk day for setting a new August CP. Fridays are rare 4CP days, but today is one of those tricky situations where the CP for the month may be set if enough energy managers elect not to curtail their electric load. This heat wave is locked in place and it will not budge until Sunday or Monday when a weak front moves through North Texas. One of our forecasting services assigns an 81% probability of setting the August CP this afternoon.
2 min read
Last week, we reported that there was significant damage to one of AEP’s 138 kV transmission lines in the wake of Hurricane Hanna. The damage to this transmission line significantly increased nodal congestion charges across ERCOT’s South Load Zone. This week, AEP repaired this transmission line. The blue colors in Figure 1 below show that nodal congestion costs in the Valley have significantly decreased since last week. This is good news, especially given the extreme demands placed on the grid from triple digit temperatures this week.
2 min read
The heat is definitely on in Texas this week. Yesterday set a new Coincident Peak (CP) for the month of August at 72,200 MW. It is highly likely that we will break that record this afternoon, as load has already surpassed 72,900 MW. ERCOT is forecasting today’s peak demand to be 74,900 MW as shown in Figure 1. This would be a new all-time high for ERCOT. Even though today will likely set the CP for August, Thursday and Friday’s temperature forecast has risen 2 degrees since the beginning of the week. On both days, temperatures are expected to exceed 100 degrees and a new CP could be set on either day.
1 min read
Calling the August Coincident Peak (CP) this week is like trying to predict whether or not we’ll have any college football this year 😟
Indeed, we set a new monthly peak yesterday at 71,600 MW, but today’s load is forecast to exceed that at 73,068 MW. We haven’t seen data yet on how much load was curtailed yesterday chasing the CP but, if history is any guide, it was probably several hundred megawatts – not enough to make up the 1,200 MW difference between yesterday’s peak and today’s forecasted peak.